HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Bon Appetit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bon Appetit. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Savory Roasted Tomato Tarte Tatin


         I recently came across a very detailed recipe for a tomato Tarte Tatin in August’s Bon Appetit.  Now I used to make Tarte Tatins at every opportunity.  They were hard to beat: You put butter and sugar into a cast iron pan and it magically turned into caramel.  You added pears or apples skin side down, covered the thing with pastry and into the oven it went.  Once done, you cautiously fiipped the tart over and voila!  Your pretty pears or apples glistened on a bed of pastry.  Add a scoop of ice cream and you had a dessert that even I could make.  This was of course before Andrew took up baking. Now, if I made dessert, people would be convinced that I’d lost my mind.  But I couldn’t get the Tomato Tarte Tatin out of my mind. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A summer starter and a side: My Chilled Cucumber Soup and Marinated Summer Vegetables adapted from Bon Appetit



         A bowl of chilled soup can really start a summer meal off right.
Make enough of it, and anytime you want, there’s a bowl of cool comfort waiting in the fridge.   As to today’s side, it’s a terrific way to have vegetables on hand and at the ready.  You do a simple roast of the farm stand’s best, then while warm douse them with a marinade with just enough garlic and fresh oregano to give them some lift.  I wish I could say the Cucumber soup was farm stand material. The recipe calls for something from fairly far away. All the way from a greenhouse in California.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blackberry and Lime Italian Meringue Pie from Bon Appetit



Yoart Grec avec Mures
         Two winters ago, Andrew and I fell in love with a Blackberry Yogurt we bought in St. Barth.  The yogurt or, more correctly Yaourt Grec avecs Mures, even made it onto our “15 Things You Must Eat in St. Barth” post and our friends Mary and John made a beeline for it when they went down to the island right after we did.  Now, I had pegged the calorie count at 80, which had it been correct, would have been the best tasting 80 calories I ever consumed.  Most unfortunately, Mary read the label correctly and the calorie count zoomed up to 280.
Still not bad but 200 calories I hadn’t counted on.  And I hadn’t counted on how much we loved the blackberries in the rich, creamy thick yogurt.  It’s blackberry season so when Andrew dug through his recipe files, he was delighted to discover a Bon Appetit with a glorious Cover Girl.  More properly, Blackberries sitting atop a lemon curd filling and topped with Italian Meringue.  Calories be damned, he decided to make this glorious confection.  Even if it took all day.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend! Time to bring out the Orange and Soy-Glazed Ribs and Coleslaw with Apple and Yogurt Dressing to go with them!


         

        The Un-Official start of summer officially starts this Friday. Out our way, that generally means a lot of premature wearing of summer clothes because we’ll still have a couple of weeks before it gets warm. The cool nights won’t stop the grill fanatics. They’ll haul out their Webers or open up their monster gas grills even if the temperature dips into the 50s.  I love their dedication just as much their wives love their participation in feeding their families.  But I’d prefer have to wait for the warm-up to enjoy grilling. Especially when I can make something as summer-y as Orange and Soy-Glazed St. Louis Cut Pork Ribs and a Coleslaw with the tang of an Apple and Yogurt dressing in the comfort of the kitchen. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mediterranean Diet 101: Chorizo and Cannellini Stew adapted from Bon Appetit


         The Mediterranean Diet is back in the news with some startling test results.  If you switch to a diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables and drink wine with meals, the diet will prevent about 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and death from heart disease.  The European doctors who conducted the study ended it earlier than expected. They thought it was unethical to continue. The results were so clear, the doctors felt that group not following the diet was at too great a risk.   Not one of the people in the study were in great shape. All 7447 of them were overweight or smokers or had diabetes or some other factor that put them at risk for heart disease.  Most of them were already taking blood pressure medication or cholesterol lowering drugs.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Brussels Sprouts and Steak Stir Fry from Bon Appetit


         Confession time: I used to loathe Brussels Sprouts. When I was growing up, I even made up a story to explain the Brussels Sprout.  It was, I told myself, a vegetable forced on wartime Europe.  I reasoned this lowly member of the cabbage family was so undesirable, it escaped the ration book.   What it was doing in post-World War II Canada was beyond all understanding.  My attitude towards Brussels Sprouts remained unchanged until only recently.  Two things  changed my mind.  The first was the Brussels Sprouts my cooking pals like Keith and Jeff served recently were not just palatable, they were downright good. And I would likely make a special trip out to the beach to dive into Almond Restaurants' "Brussels Sprouts Two Ways".  The second was that when searching for local late season produce, our Hamptons farm stands are positively rife with Brussels Sprouts.  Of course, the farm stands have long been closed for the season.  But the Brussels Sprouts are green and glorious in the supermarket—even if they hail from much further than Bridgehampton.  And when I was doing some research into the Brussels Sprout, I discovered why those Canadian Brussels Sprouts of long ago weren’t at all what I was raving about today. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Pappardelle with Creamy Leeks and Bacon



Sara Jenkins as photographed by
New York Magazine 

         There’s almost no end to what people are putting on pasta these days. The most recent issue of Bon Appetit has 7 entirely new takes on pasta sauces and a couple of pastas that are new to me:  Ditalini, a tubular pasta that translates to “little fingers” and Fiorentini, named for Florence, a spiral shaped paste as elegant as the city itself.  All the recipes are from Sara Jenkins, best known for her tiny East Village hole in the wall “Porchetta” (110 E. 7th Street NYC Tel: 212 777 2151).  There the star of the show is Chef Jenkins melt-in-your-mouth slow roasted pork on artisanal bread. It’s a stand-up kind of place, great for a midday pig-out. ( I generally go there on the sly, shamed that anyone might witness my fondness for pork fat.) 

 In between pig roasts, the Chef managed to write a cookbook called “Olives and Oranges: Recipes and Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus, and Beyond “by Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox (Houghton Mifflin 2008).   But it was at her next venture, a restaurant called Porsena, down the street from Porchetta at 21 East 7th St. (Tel: 212 228 4913), that Ms. Jenkins devoted herself to pasta.  And it you can’t get there yourself, this month’s copy of Bon Appetit will take you there.

         Of all 7 pastas, I chose the Pappardelle with Creamy Leeks and Bacon.  Right at the start you should know you can substitute linguine if pappardelle are nowhere to be found.   The recipe says that it’s a twist on Carbonara, the famous Roman specialty that uses eggs, cheese, guanciale or pancetta and turns them into oceans of creamy sauce.   The Creamy Leeks and Bacon are almost as sinful. The dish is so rich portion control is a must.  In Italy, where pasta is a separate course and precedes the entrée, the serving size would be half of what you end up with here.  So go easy, make sure that you add enough pasta water so there’s a true creamy sauce before you stir in the pasta.   Then you’ll end up with the sweetness of the leeks, the smokiness of the bacon and the creaminess of the sauce coating the pasta whether pappardelle or linguine.  This is so good!

         On our way to the recipe, I wanted to share 4 tips that Chef Jenkins laid out to make your pasta perfect from now on.  This applies to all pasta and not specifically to pappardelle.  Here they are:

1.   The more water the better.  Always use the largest pot you can and start with at least 6 quarts of cold water.  The more water the more space the pasta has to move around and the quicker the water will return to a boil when the pasta is added.

2.   Don’t skimp on the salt.  Chef Jenkins uses a terrifying ¼ cup of kosher salt per 6 quarts of water.  Since the pasta water is a key ingredient in making the sauce, the salted water is the basis for a lot of the flavor. 

3.   Al Dente or ‘to the tooth’ is everyone’s ideal of when pasta is done.  There was a tale I once heard about a Neapolitan chef who would fling his cooked pasta against a brick wall. If it stuck, it meant it was overcooked.  Chef Jenkins says she trusts the cooking times on pasta packages but nevertheless starts testing about 3 minutes a head of time.  She says: “You can always cook it longer. But you can never go back”.  Supposedly the Neapolitan I spoke about committed suicide when too many nights went by with pasta sticking to the wall.

4.   Use the pasta water in your sauce.   As it cooks, the pasta release starch into the water.  This is Chef Jenkins’ key to a well-seasoned bowl of pasta.  Before you drain the pasta, lade out two cups of the cooking liquid and put aside.  You may not have to use anything like that amount but even a splash or two will help your sauce emulsify when you add your pasta to the sauce.

Now, are you ready for the recipe?  Here it is:

Recipe for Pappardelle with Creamy Leeks and Bacon

Serves 4.

     2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
    2 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise,
       sliced crosswise
     Kosher salt
     3/4 cup heavy cream
     2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
     1 pound pappardelle or fettuccine
     1 cup finely grated Parmesan

Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 5-8 minutes. Add leeks and season with salt. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until leeks begin to brown, 5-8 minutes. Add cream, thyme, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 5-8 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
Add pasta, Parmesan, and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce and stir to coat. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring, adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Serve at once. 


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Haddock with Fennel-Tomato Sauce And 8 Reasons we should all eat more fish.


          We should all eat more fish.  Further down the page you’ll find a list of eight reasons why. But there seem to be an equal number of reasons people do not.  I was talking to my friend Barbara, an Ohio native, who never ate fish growing up.  They simply weren’t all that available.  Now she strives to eat fish because the health benefits are unavoidable.  But she put her finger on what fish she will and will not eat.  And it all came down to what fish smells like. Because the fact is the freshest fish does not smell fishy.  So if you do the sniff test no matter what fish it is, if it smells the slightest bit fishy, put it back, it’s not fresh fish. Luckily for us, New York is one of the world’s great seaports and great fish arrives daily.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Crystal Shrimp with Ginger, Sweet Peas and Scallions



         No matter how gray a day it’s been, coming home to a dinner of beautifully pink and gold shrimp paired with sweet peas, fresh scallions and ginger medallions is a visual treat.  The simple salting and rinsing of the raw shrimp gives them a firm texture.  This recipe, which first appeared in Bon Appetit five years ago, gives credit for the name of the dish to the crystal-like texture of the shrimp. I would also have to say that there is a crystal look to the shrimp as well.  There’s not a lot of prep time involved in this recipe however it does require a 1 to 3 hour rest period for the shrimp once they’ve been battered with cornstarch and egg white.  While that was going on, I took a look at the history of the Shrimp and another look at where mine come from, that marvel of food shopping, Costco.

Marco Polo 
         In a kind of believe it or not, the shrimp’s name is derived from a Middle English word ‘shrimpe’ which meant ‘pygmy’.  This of course could lead to an entire discussion on the dichotomy of the words “Jumbo Shrimp” and doesn’t really give a satisfying answer to why someone would pick up a shrimp and think “Pygmy!”   Putting that aside, shrimp has been around for a very long time.  The Chinese were eating shrimp in the 7th century.  And when Marco Polo arrived in China in 1280, he commented on their abundance in food markets.  This country, however, has long held the record for shrimp eating.  In the 17th  century, Louisiana’s bayou residents were hauling in shrimp in giant seines that were up to 600 feet in circumference!  And there were no mechanical devices involved at all – just human labor.  It wasn’t until 1917 that mechanized shrimping arrived.  And with it came some unfortunate side effects.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Garlic Shrimp and Cannellini Beans adapted from Bon Appetit


         This is a one-pan wonder that comes together completely in just 30 minutes.  And in that time, Cannellini beans take on the rich flavor of a tomato sauce enriched with chiles and a single bay leaf.  There’s nothing bland about these beans! Then they’re topped with big beautiful shrimp that have been tossed in garlic and smoked paprika and broiled for 3 minutes.  Grilled bread that’s been rubbed with more garlic is perfect for sopping up the lusciously thick sauce.  The whole dish is an homage to Spanish cooking that couldn’t be simpler to make and yet complex in flavor at the same time. Make it and I can almost guarantee you will make it again and again.
            My experience with Spanish cuisine is limited to making an occasional Paella and even there, without a true Paella pan, I am not sure how authentic my version is.  But I’ve wanted to delve a little deeper ever since I read “Ferran ” (Gotham Books 2011) Colman Andrew’s biography of Ferran Adrià i Acosta who is, arguably, the best chef in the world. And who wouldn't be intrigued by a subhead  that read "The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man who Re-invented Food". From his out-of-the-way El Bulli restaurant in Roses on the Costa Brava, the chef has drawn gastronomes from every corner of the world.   Now shuttered while he decides what his next step will be, the chef’s most famous contributions to cuisine will never be the province of the home cook.  Adria is most associated with "molecular gastronomy”, which is that particular style of cooking obsessed with its science and how food is chemically changed during 
the cooking process.  Despite his reputation for being one of its foremost practitioners, the Chef himself doesn’t consider his cooking to fit in that category.  Instead, he is quoted as saying that his goal is "to provide unexpected contrasts of flavour, temperature and texture. Nothing is what it    seems. The idea is to provoke, surprise and delight the diner."  I won’t, for one minute, claim that this incredibly simple Garlic Shrimp with White Beans comes anywhere near the complexity of a Ferran dish.  But I think you will agree that this thirty minute entrée will “provoke, surprise and delight” you.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Herb Roasted Lamb Chops with Aparagus And a Baked Potato



         If Spring has a food, I can think of two things that fit the season perfectly. The first is lamb, so associated with Easter in both liturgy and on the Easter Table.  The second is Asparagus, which is never better than when it is local and abundant.  Putting the two together is a natural. Today’s post is not for a roast leg of lamb at all.  Rather these loin lamb chops start the cooking process on the stove and then finish in a hot oven.  They couldn’t be easier and they’re perfect for a weeknight dinner.  What’s surprising here is how much flavor the very simple and fast herb marinade gives you.  In thirty minutes to an hour, you’ll achieve a very tasty lamb chop. Alas, the Asparagus I used was not local – it will be June before it breaks ground on Long Island.  But the stuff in the stores was so tempting that I gladly brought it home.  And finally, I put a couple of Russet potatoes in the oven and baked them.  Andrew couldn’t remember the last time he’d had one but what had we been missing!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Birthday Party Paella



         We were having a group to dinner over the President’s Day weekend.  I saw it as a great opportunity to cook something substantial.  I hit upon making a paella for a couple of reasons. I’d read an article in Saveur written by David Rosengarten.  In it, Chef Rosengarten had gone to the source: the cradle of Spanish paella making, Valencia.  What inspired me the most was that the original recipe, dating from the early 1800s, called saffron-scented rice cooked with Rabbit, chicken, Snails and three kinds of beans. Rosengarten pointed out that you can still find that version all over Valencia. But the list of paellas does not stop there.  There are seafood paellas, vegetable paellas and paellas using all kinds of meats. The recipe is wildly adaptable because as Rosengarten pointed out: “Tinkering, it seems, is inherent to the culture of paella.”  And it’s to be remembered that “Paella” refers the wide, shallow steel pan in which such dishes were cooked.  In my case, all I really needed was a good basic recipe from which to build my paella.  And as to its ingredients, well I just went shopping in my freezer.  There I found the chicken thighs, hot Italian sausage and shrimp that would form the backbone of what turned out to be a delicious and terrifically well-received dish.  Although no thanks to the recipe I found for Birthday Party Paella. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Texas Beef Brisket Chili with Butternut Squash


Jesse James
Outlaw and Chili Lover
Every year about this time, we get a blast of cold air that makes us yearn for a big bowl of chili.  I am certainly no Texan and despite the fact that Andrew’s family live there, they’re native New Yorkers.   But I’ll take a bowl of Texas chili over any other kind.  After all, the Texas legislature declared Chili the “State Food” in 1977 “in recognition of the fact that the only real 'bowl of red' is that prepared by Texans."  I wonder what took them so long? It’s reported that Jesse James (1847-1882), outlaw and desperado of the American West, once gave up a chance to rob a bank in McKinney, Texas because his favorite chili parlor was located there.  What distinguishes Texas Chili? Well any Texan worth their cowboy hat knows you don’t know beans about chili if you use beans in making the real thing. There’s even a song on the subject:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fig-Almond Tart from Marinus Restaurant at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, California


  
         Andrew made this recipe not once but twice and it was big hit. He encouraged me to post it.  But for the life of me, I could not find it. I must have used every search word combination I could think of.  The truly pathetic thing is that Andrew keeps a log of everything he bakes. But that log was at the beach and we are in city most weekends this time of year.  I finally trekked out there on Monte’s Ham business and Eureka!  I found it listed in Andrew’s blue book.  Finally, I could post this wonderfully moist tart with its cake-like interior. Finally I could share its secret: Frangipane, a classic French pasty filling of almonds, eggs, butter and sugar.  At last I could give you a look at its beautiful fresh figs atop this perfect piece of pastry.  Or could I…

Monday, October 10, 2011

Scampi Fra Diavolo adapted from Bon Appetit



         Few things are more of a convenience in the kitchen than keeping a bag of Costco shrimp in the Freezer. Cleaned, with their tails intact, they are very economical and they come in several sizes of shrimp—from very large to small and somewhere in between.  Whatever size you choose, being able to reach in, take out however many you need and then re-sealing the bag and putting it back in the freezer, is a gift to everyone. From the cook who wants to put something exceptional on the table to the happy recipient of a gorgeous shrimp dinner, everyone wins here.
Shrimp are the original crowd-pleaser, by far the most popular seafood in the United States. And, as I mentioned to you recently, Shrimp are given the thumbs up on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch.  Checking the Costco label, you’ll likely find that theirs have been farm-raised in Vietnam.  Much to my amazement, even then, they still pass muster with Monterey Bay.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Andouille Sausage and Shrimp with Creole Mustard Sauce adapted from Bon Appetit and Stir-Fried Green Beans with Cumin adapted from Suvir Saran



         One of the great joys of cooking for me is finding flavor combinations that work together beautifully even though they come from completely different cooking traditions.  That’s what this dinner does. It takes a wonderful Cajun dish from Bon Appetit full of shrimp and spicy sausage in a truly delicious mustard sauce and pairs it with an Indian side dish. In itself, each dish is wonderful to eat.  Put them together and you create another sensation on the plate.  And it even comes down to color: The green beans are the perfect counterpoint to the bright red peppers, pink shrimp and golden sausage.  And to top it all off, you can get the whole dish on the table in something like 35 minutes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blackberry or Blueberry or Raspberry or Strawberry Buttermilk Cake





         Today, I wanted to share a really terrific cake that Andrew made last weekend…twice.  The tangy buttermilk makes the cake so deliciously moist and adaptable to any one of those gorgeous berries that are at our Farm Stands right now.  It lets the flavor of the fruit come through because it’s topped with a dusting of powdered sugar  which takes nothing away from the berries but gives you a sweet and decorative finish.  As delicious as it is, that’s not really the reason Andrew made it twice.  Read on…

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pappardelle with Prosciutto and Orange adapted from Bon Appetit



        The Emilia region of Italy has long been considered the country’s gastronomic epicenter.  Similar to the position Lyons occupies in French gastronomes’ hearts, Bologna is said to be Italy’s gastronomic capital.  Given that such universally recognizable names like Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano-Reggiano hail from the region, to say nothing of Modena’s Balsamico and that most classic of meat sauces, Bolognese, Emilia’s reputation comes naturally. 
Bologna is called "La Grassa"
meaning "Plump" or 'Prosperous"
        The last time Andrew and I were in Italy, we hurtled through Emilia on our way from Venice to Tuscany.  Having gotten a late start, our plans to stop in Bologna for lunch were dashed. Due to the brilliance of Italy’s Autostradas which skirt the city centers, we never even laid eyes on the place.  I’d been there as a student but on a student’s budget I have no recall of the gastronomy.  In fact the only the thing I remember at all was that Bologna had a Communist mayor which, in those pre-cold war days, pretty much scared us  red-blooded North Americans off the place.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Skirt Steak with Sweet Corn, Haricots Verts and Pesto



        I don’t know whether you’ve been following the histrionics that have been going on over the re-designed Bon Appetit.  The new editor, Adam Rapoport, has taken over from Barbara Fairchild, who bowed out when Conde Nast moved the magazine from California to New York and she wouldn’t.  Mr Rapoport knows a thing or two about magazines having been at GQ for over ten years.  And he knows a bit about food since he worked as an Editor and Writer for the James Beard Foundation’s publications office before that.  His first issue was dedicated to Italy and didn’t seem to arouse much anxiety.  Next, however, he had the temerity to feature Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover and you’d think he’d knocked over Ruth Reichl with his car. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spicy Pork with Asparagus and Chile


Farmers Market Asparagus
Spicy Pork with Asparagus and Chile

West 66th Street and Broadway

The Farmer's Market in Richard Tucker Square
        We live in a very urban setting in New York and it comes as somewhat a surprise to visitors that there’s a thriving Farmers Market in our midst three days a week.  It's just a couple of blocks down from us and right in front of Lincoln Center. Its presence really shouldn't be a surprise. New York has the largest and most diverse outdoor urban farmers market network in the country.  What began in 1976 with 12 farmers in a parking lot on 59th Street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan has now grown to 54 markets with over 230 family farms and fishermen participating, and over 30,000 acres of farmland protected from development.